Joe Canning led the way as a youthful Galway side edged out Limerick in a senior hurling challenge match at Athenry on Saturday evening.
Galway boss Anthony Cunningham used 21 of last year’s All-Ireland U21 winning panel but it was Canning who proved the inspiration. Galway led 0-13 to 0-7 at half-time, but then Canning blasted home a superb goal from 25 yards five minutes into the second-half. After that the Galway management team emptied their bench and a Limerick revival ensued with midfielder Paul Browne leading the way.
Further points from Paudie O’Brien, Conor Allis, Thomas O’Brien and Niall Moran closed the gap before James Regan settled Galway with a goal four minutes after hisintroduction. But Limerick continued to battle were rewarded when Tommy Quaid goaled three minutes intoinjury-time. With just three weeks to go until their championship opener against Tipperary, Limerick manager John Allen will be happy with his side’s willingness to fight to the end, but they will need a huge improvement in quality to test the 2010 All-Ireland champions.
Scorers for Galway: J Canning (1-8, 6fs); J Regan (1-0); A Smith (0-2); P Brehnoy (0-2); S Molloy (0-2); N Burke (0-2, 1f); R Cummins (0-1); D Glennon (0-1); T Og Regan (0-1); N Quinn (0-1).
Scorers for Limerick: C Allis (0-6, 5fs); P Browne (0-4); T Quaid (1-1); P O’Brien (0-2); S Tobin (0-1); J Ryan (0-1); N Moran (0-1); T O’Brien (0-1); D Breen (0-1).
GALWAY: F Flannery; D Connolly, K Hynes, G O’Halloran; P Gordon, T Og Regan, I Tannian; A Smith, B Flaherty; P Brehony, J Glynn, C Cooney; R Cummins, J Canning, D Glennon.
Subs: J Ryan for Flannery, (ht); D Fox forTannian, (ht); S Molloy for Glennon, (ht); N Quinn for Cooney, (ht); B Burke for Glynn, (ht); N Burke for Brehony, (ht); N Donoghue for T Og Regan, (ht); C Burke for O’Halloran, (47); P Huban for Connolly, (47); J Coen for Flaherty, (49); J Regan for Cummins, (60); F Moore for Hynes, (60); C Donnellan for Smith, (65); D Burke for Canning, (65).
LIMERICK: N Quiad; S Walsh, R McCarthy, S Hickey; W McNamara, D O’Grady, T Ryan; J Ryan, P Browne; S O’Brien, N Maher, C Allis; G Mulcahy, N Moran, S Tobin.
Subs: B Geary for McCarthy, (ht); D Breen for S O’Brien, (ht); P O’Brien for McNamara, (ht); T O’Brien for J Ryan, (ht); G O’Mahony for Maher, (ht); T Condon for Walsh, (ht); T Quaid for Tobin, (61); M Carmody for Moran, (61); D O’Mahony for T Ryan, (61).
Referee: John Keane (Galway).
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